The UCLA defensive line just scored its first major victory of the 2013 season, according to Los Angeles Times reporter Chris Foster. Five-star prospect and former Notre Dame Fighting Irish commit Eddie Vanderdoes won his NCAA hardship appeal, which grants him immediate eligible with the Bruins, Foster reports.
Vanderdoes navigated through a tumultuous recruiting process. The Auburn (Calif.) Placer product initially pledged his verbal commitment to USC, but balked in the winter and signed with Notre Dame. Head coach Jim Mora tweeted a welcome to Vanderdoes last month, though UND was hesitant to release the signee from his National Letter of Intent.
Vanderdoes appealed to the National Letter of Intent Steering Committee, contending his about-face was in order to be closer to an ill family member. Had he lost his appeal, Vanderdoes would have had to sit out the 2013 season, and would begin his college career with just three years of eligibility.
The decision is obviously a huge positive for Vanderdoes individually, but it also greatly benefits a UCLA defensive front in need of support. Vanderdoes joins an elite crop of freshmen linemen, including Kylie Fitts and Kenneth Clark. All three should compete to supplement a unit that lost its 2012 leader, Datone Jones. The Bruins also must replace Owamagbe Odighizuwa, who had hip surgery in the off-season.